EMG at UK House of Commons: Skills for a Sustainable Economy

EMG CSR Consultancy was among the businesses attending a special Parliamentary reception at the House of Commons in London on 10th December. Hosted by Joan Walley MP, the reception was held to launch the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)’s Skills for a Sustainable Economy position Statement.

The IEMA has recently undertaken research to examine how businesses are facing the challenge of the ‘perfect storm’ of pressure on the global economy caused by the increasing scarcity of natural resources, climate change, unprecedented consumption and a swiftly growing global population. Businesses are facing higher prices and more risks are becoming evident regarding the supply of essential materials, products and services. The research indicates that although some organizations are changing how they operate in order to meet these new challenges, many are unprepared and are not equipped to face the future.

Tim Balcon, CEO of IEMA, stated, ‘Our research shows that only 13% of organisations are fully confident that they have the skills to successfully compete in a sustainable economy, the system which provides the only viable future for business.’ He announced that IEMA had developed a 4-point action plan in collaboration with its members to assist businesses and the government in filling this skills gap. The key steps of this plan are as follows:

  • sustainability to be placed at the heart of business strategy
  • sustainability skills to be central to all organisations
  • sustainability skills to be mainstreamed through training delivered by education and training providers
  • sustainability to be embedded across the economy through collaborative action and energised through governmental commitment to a sustainability skills strategy

The ‘Perfect Storm: Skills for a Sustainable Economy’ campaign initiated by the IEMA is now being supported by a number of large-scale organisations including BAE Systems, EDF Energy, Rolls-Royce and Jaguar Land Rover, and by various high-profile individuals. The Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced plans for a new skills college to enhance economic competitiveness; it is becoming increasingly clear at leadership level that the skills gap must be bridged to allow businesses and organisations to move forward and capitalise on the economic opportunities available through the sustainable approach.

EMG founder Daan Elffers commented, ‘Organisations can benefit enormously by initiating and maintaining a sustainable approach to business. This latest IEMA survey indicates that savings for some companies through more efficient use of resources can amount to over £1 million a year.’

The event was sponsored by construction company Willmott Dixon.

Article: sustainability skills strategy – EMG at House of Commons